Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

Yesterday I was told to move out immediately, and to go live at who was ever house I have been going to at night. I explained again as I have in the past that where I goes work. I sit in my office that is what I do. So I say no I’m not going to move out because I have no place to go. Things are said as they always are feelings are felt, and then a new day begins. When I get to work this morning I received an e-mail saying I need to move out now. My response was okay. She knows I don’t have a place to go, thus technically making me homeless. Now let me add that she expects me to pay half of the bills for June, July, and, August. Finally let me also add that she wants me to set up a visitation schedule. Visitation where there is no home. Stay with me here for a minute, because if what I am about to say makes perfect sense, then perhaps I am truly that mentally ill.

She wants me to immediately move out, with nowhere to go, because the wake of the destruction I am leaving behind by the thing said to her and the kids are irreversible. I know and admit I have not had nice things to say to her. This is not a byproduct of mental illness; this is a byproduct of her cheating on me. I know and admit that I used poor judgment in something I have said to my daughter. I have heard her use poor choices and say things that should not have been said to our kids. I am sure many parents out there have said something to their child that they regretted saying. But for me this is a byproduct of my mental illness and I am causing irreversible damage, and therefore need to leave immediately, thus becoming homeless. Does this make sense? Am I crazy because I do not see the logic or reasoning behind this?

She talks about making poor decisions and actions that are causing irreversible damage. Was her decision to be unfaithful a good decision, and didn’t cause irreversible damage to me and our children? Was her decision to throw all my clothes in the basement where our children could clearly see a good decision that isn’t going to cause irreversible damage? During this whole process can she truly say that she has not said or done things that haven’t caused irreversible damage? Because of this I need to leave immediately, and be homeless. Will her decision to throw me out of the house with nowhere to go, not cause me or our children irreversible damage? Does this make sense? Am I crazy because I do not see the logic or reasoning behind this?

I am going to move out immediately. I would rather be homeless, then beg to continue living there after everything that has happened.

My intended focus this week was to break down, analyze, and apply my methodology to three single events with the intended outcome of making the correct choice. Do I stay or do I go? I have repeatedly replayed the same haunting moment of seeing my son still and quiet on his bike as he watched me get in the car to go to work. In that moment I could see in his eyes the internal conflict between acceptance and denial that his dad is slipping away. I could see and understand all too well the sadness he was trying so bravely to hide.

It is difficult for me to release my sadness and sorrow through the shedding of tears. The only time the outside world can see what I try so hard to hide, is when I cannot hold back my tears. At that moment, just as in this moment writing about it I cannot stop the tears. Many people say that crying is supposed to be this wonderful release of pent up emotions. It’s not like that for me. Tears feel like razor blades running down my face, slicing through self-denial and exposing my weakness and vulnerability. Regardless of how many times I have been told I am selfish and only think of myself, at the end of the day my meaning in life, and my purpose is to not break his heart. I am well aware I will never win the father of the year award. To be honest with you I don’t even know if I’m a good father. Despite what I am told I know I have always tried to be the best dad I could be.

After the series of events that took place yesterday, or would it be considered today? I haven’t slept for days so time holds no logical meaning. After said events the only answer to my opening question; is to go. There are only so many pieces someone can be broken into before they are unable to be put back together. I now need to come to terms with the sobering reality that I will become in my own eyes everything I ever swore I wouldn’t. I will become my fathers son. I am desperately seeking, yet fear I will be unable to live with the guilt, or forgive myself.

Children are not stone, nor are they steel. They are dirt and clay, molded by the hands of experience. There is no way to reconcile the loss of my son’s happiness and hope due to the harsh reality of my life, which I have viciously infected upon my family. Despite my frequent mental transformations I made the decision to get married and have children; in that single moment I destroyed their lives. I suppose I was caught up in the perceived human need for significance, by my own sense of insecurity. Here is where I cannot deny my selfishness. Broken dolls are meant to walk alone.

In moments like this I want to hide within the minds of Soren Kierkegaard and Albert Camus covering myself in the blanket of Absurdism. Believing all struggles for life is for nothing. There is only birth and death, and everything in between is our feeble attempt to find meaning and purpose. This concept is wonderful, but in the back of my mind I’m burdened with this question. What if birth and death were only two points, that they were inconsequential compared to what happens between them?

I am currently burdened with this increasingly ticking clock looming over my head. I hear it every second of every day; sometimes it’s as soft as a pin drop, other times it’s so deafening it impedes on my ability to function. Loud or soft there is no escape it’s always there tick, tock, tick, tock. This metaphorical clock terrorizing my mind is the count down leading to the single most important decision I have had to make thus far in my life. Do I stay or do I go?

Regardless of how hard I try not to have this internal battle; I would question my humanity if I didn’t. I have spent 15 years of my life with this person, and raised three children with her. I would delusional to think, after 15 years there would be only happy times; that our relationship would be void of heartaches. I figure the best way to analyze this problem is through a Utilitarian view point. Which decisions creates the most happiness while simultaneously creating the least amount of sorrow. I have quickly learned that making a decision as a utilitarian when there are so many people involved is damn near impossible. What I have been doing is treating each situation as a single event. I observe how I feel inside; I try to imagine how those involved feel inside. I then proceed to estimate how many times such an event has happened in the past, and then apply the probability of this event happening in the future. This is the method I have been using to try and silence the ticking clock by making my final decision. Will this methodology sentence me to a life filled with tormenting regret, or will it be the key to unlock these shackles of hopelessness I have been chained to most of my life.

This week I plan on taking some of these single events; breaking them down as I have described above with the hope of discovering the answer to my question. Do I stay or do I go?

It has been over two years since my last post; in fact during this time I haven’t written anything. The reasons for this abrupt end are inconsequential at the moment, but will most definitely need to be examined in an attempt to uncover how and why my life has completely unraveled. The life I have known for the last fifteen years is about to come to an end; like all endings there is the inevitable re-birth. This is the saddest ending I have had to endure in my life, and the most terrifying beginning I have ever had to face. I am trying my best to understand and process all these intense emotions, but I find myself drowning unable to find the surface for a much needed breath of hope and understanding. For the last year or so I have been trapped in this painfully unsolvable riddle, and it has been eating me alive. I have experienced undeniable betrayal, but I have chosen to wrap myself in the comfort of lies. I want to believe the lies, so I don’t have to experience this gut wrenching sadness. In the end I was willing to suffer an eternity of sorrow just to hear the whole truth. I could at least begin to forgive and trust, unfortunately this was not the outcome. Ever the fool I would have stayed, but it was the unrelenting daily reminders of these lies and betrayal as if I was the guilty party that ultimately destroyed everything. I can’t sleep or eat, and I have been rotting away with each passing day. The only viable solution I can find to help me through the coming storm is to attempt to write again. I can say that a piece of me died when I stopped writing, yet ironically my writing also played a major role in some of the other pieces of my life to die. I need to return to this medium, because if I don’t I will never find the surface. Each day will continue to be more painful than the last; I need hope that tomorrow will one day hurt less than today. I believe this is my only chance of surviving this re-birth. My fear is discovering I have lost the ability to express myself.

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I am a Staffing Coordinator at a nursing home in Minnesota. My main job function is to ensure we are fully staffed twenty-four hours a day. One of my many other responsibilities is managing our lodge employee program. Lodge employees are people who work at the nursing home and live in one of the lodges on our campus. This lodge is a housing unit for people in recovery, many of which are homeless. These individuals, after their first thirty days of sobriety, are then allowed to come up and work at the nursing home as monitors. I can name about a dozen people who are here for a few months, try to go out on their own, then relapse and come right back. Then there are the guys who I see once and never see them again. I feel for these people, and the lives they have chosen. I grow fond of some of them, and try to be there for support, and tell them about my own personal recovery. I root for them hoping they can beat their addictions and enter back into society with a place to live. I look at their lives and it makes me grateful for who I am and what I have accomplished in my life thus far.

I had one of my lodge employees come talk to me over the winter. This guy has been one of the best employees I have had in over three years. He came to me one day to ask me for advice. His dilemma was whether he should leave the lodge and grab his fiancé from another sobriety/homeless shelter in Minneapolis, take the money he has made working here, and go back to St. Cloud to live in a motel. Being that it was winter, he was concerned about what he would do when he ran out of money. He told me it would be almost impossible to find a homeless shelter to live in up there. He said he felt content and safe at the lodge and is going on two years of sobriety. His fiancé, on the other hand, was staying somewhere in Minneapolis where they will hold a bed for her as long as she volenteers as a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. She does not like where she is and is trying to pressure this guy to leave. He wants to stay here until springtime because he says it’s a lot easier to be homeless when the weather is nice. I offered some programs he could check into but I really wanted to shake this guy and tell him there are so many options out there for him, he doesn’t need to be homeless. I advised him to stay where he was at and encourage his fiancé to do the same.  

This got me thinking of my own life and how truly lucky I am. I have a beautiful, healthy, and wonderful family. I have a stable job, although not what I dreamed I would become; it pays the bills. I live in a beautiful home, there are times I just stop and take a step back in awe seeing all that I have. There is always food on the table and we feel blessed knowing our kids will never starve. Although I do not place a high value on possessions, we have many things people only dream of. We are able to spoil our kids for Christmas and even though we live check to check, we manage to survive month in and month out. These are all blessings I have been given, which I am sure any of the guy at the lodge would give anything to have. The problem is, I don’t always realize how truly blessed I am, it is as if, I almost forget how great I have it (this is usually when ego takes over.) I will at times take for granted the life I have and the people within it. I just grow comfortable with my situation, I do not take the time or energy to realize and reflect on what I am thankful for. In this situation I  take for granted the things and people I have in my life. I do not express enough how grateful I am to have everything that I do.

Considering my severe mental illness, and my personal battles with addiction, I could realistically be any of these guys over at the lodge, or perhaps even much worse. I wish I could take all the credit for this, but my beautiful wife has been my guiding light. Even in my darkest hours her love, compassion, and just plain giving a shit, has always lead my way home. She has always seen me for the man I can become, even though I have shown her the opposite. My children give me the motivation to become a better father than I have ever had. I have wonderful mother, supportive siblings, regular readers, a killer children’s book series, a great home,  cool shit I never thought I would have. I have kids who love and think the world of me, a great dog (not my first choice but I have grown to love him) and I am one of the few people out there who can say they found and married their soul mate. I may not always see it, but I love my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  

As for the gentleman I mentioned earlier; sadly he did not take my advice. He left two days after we had our conversation, and I haven’t seen or heard from him since. Wherever he is, I hope he can find the same happiness I know today.

“Forget the past- the future will give you plenty to worry about.”
George Allen

Forget the past; wouldn’t that just be so wonderful? Imagine if we could all go to sleep tonight and wake up with our past pain and worries wiped from our memories. I wonder how much differently we would look at life if we were not shackled to our painful past. I imagine we would live life to the fullest not being afraid to try new things, and experience once missed joys. I think our past define who we are and as a result defines our future.

I understand the future will dump on us just as our past has, but this future will soon become the past and before you know it that ball and chain we carry around just seems to get heavier and heavier. The only way to cure the past is through the power of forgiveness.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
Mark Twain

I don’t think we can ever forget our past, but we can forgive. By practicing forgiveness we can eventually move beyond our past pains. I wake up every morning and say “today I choose to forgive.” I do not direct this towards any direct individual or situation I just say it. In saying this I am not only forgiving those who have harmed me, I am also forgiving myself. This little daily exercises has really helped me chip some weight off the ball and chain of a painful past. Try it sometime.

“You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.”
Barbara de Angelis

You can never lose by loving because love is the supreme positive emotion which we can ever experience. It can also be said that love can be the most painful emotion when it is lost. I know from experience; a broken heart can completely tear your soul apart. The question examined here is if a day of love is worth a day of pain? I sit here right now examining this question and wondering if the pain I have felt over lost loves was worth the joys it brought.

Including teenage love (which isn’t always real love) I have been in love a few times in my life. I do remember the exciting joys of when you first start flirting and getting involved. It is so new and so exciting. I remember when I was teenager talking to my girlfriend for hours at night never running out of things to say. The conversations would last so long until one of us fell asleep. There was this great feeling of becoming connected. Nothing can beat the certain excitement over the butterflies you feel when you first start falling in love. I remember wanting to spend every waking moment with them because I didn’t feel complete without her. The joys of being loved, and loving was the greatest narcotic of this thing we call life. I remember these dream feelings, but I also remember the nightmare destined to follow.

The days and months prior to and after the loss of my first love was the most painful emotional rollercoaster I have ever been on. I could sense the impending doom of our relationship which only caused me to try to cling to her even more tightly. This clinging did nothing but put the final nails in the coffin of our relationship. When it was finally said and done it felt like somebody ripped my heart out of my chest and defecated on it. For months and even years I felt the after affects of my loss. I am sure every one of my readers can relate to the joys of your first or even third love, and can also relate to the pains of those loves lost. So I ask again was the two years of happiness, worth the two years of pain to follow?  

I think I would have been better off holding back than jumping into things with both feet forward. I had love and acceptance issues growing up, and when the first person who came around outside of my family started to show me love I was hooked. I wanted my life to be completely about her and us, and this over smothering eventually caused the downfall of our relationship. We were just teenagers yet we were dating like adults. After this relationship I held back on every one of my subsequent relationships. I built a wall and system which kept me from falling that deeply in love with another person again. I had many different relationships after; but I held back on each and every single one of them. The last thing I ever wanted to feel again was the pain of a broken heart. I think even today there are still remnants of this wall. So I ask again was two years of love worth the damaged caused many years later?

I think love is like reincarnation in the Buddhist faith. With every life you learn a new lesson on your path to enlightenment and enter into Nirvana. I think in each time we enter into a relationship and allow love to enter our hearts then feel the pains of love leaving we take with us a valuable lesson to apply to our next relationship. With enough lessons mixed with fate we finally end up with the one we are truly meant to be with. Hopefully with enough lessons learned you will become an enlightened mate, and not be the douche which caused your last four relationships to fail.  

I think this advice is great but I have to question the credentials of the source. De Angelis is a relationship consultant, and personal growth advisor. She has written fourteen best-selling books on these topics. This all sounds great right? Well she received her master’s degree in psychology from Sierra University which isn’t like going to a real school. She then followed this degree up with a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia Pacific University which is now-defunct unaccredited institution. Okay so just because of these two things we can not necessarily discredit her knowledge of relationships, but we can with this… she has been married and divorced five times! I personally do not think anyone who has failed that many times at marriage should be qualified to give others advice on relationships. I leave you with some lyrics from “The Rose” which speaks eloquently on not holding back.

“It’s the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live”

“The Rose” by: Bette Midler  

I think if I didn’t head the advice of this song than I would have never found my rose. If I never allowed the seed of love to be planted than I would be alone with out my wife and family, so I guess you could say either way you look at this conundrum; it all ends up working out in the end.                                          

 

Like most people in America I am very self-conscious about my body and the way I look. I feel very uneasy in my own skin, which I think adds to my shy nature and lack of confidence. I have never really thought I was part of the “beautiful people” which over the years has really bothered me. I find this kind of strange since I am very anti-conformity. A sure sign of conformity is letting society dictate to you what is beautiful over what is ugly, and what is popular over unpopular. I am not sure why I have allowed mainstream media to say to me whether I am beautiful or not, but I have and still do. I trace the root of this complexity to my early experiences with television.  

We are bombarded everyday with television, magazines, movies, and commercials’ telling us what is sexy and what isn’t. When I was younger I was introduced by the media to something called “popularity” and the opposite side of the spectrum the term “geek.” I was not yet judgmental of anyone until I learned of the social divide within the subculture known as public schools. I knew from movies such as “Lucas,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Weird Science,” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” the last thing I ever wanted to be was a geek. The popular and beautiful people in these and other movies of that time showed me that my highest objective in my youth is to be on the proper side of the cool meter. (Apparently during the eighties if you had any sort of eye conditions you were doomed to being a dork, and most likely a part of the AV club.) I did not need glasses but for most of my childhood I was on the wrong side of the cool meter. The more I found myself in this crowed the more resentment grew towards myself. I think the years of being teased only furthered my desire to be “beautiful.”  I was never able to achieve this elusive label.

I wish I felt more comfortable in my body, but I don’t. In my lifetime I hope to see a world that puts very little emphasis on the outward appearance of people. I want to live in a world where your beauty is judged by who you are inside not what you look like on the outside. I know ultimately I am responsible for my own body and if I wish to change it then I need to quit whining and do something about it. I know this but it is so much easier to say then to actually do. The problem I have is I lack any self discipline when it comes to my eating habits. I do not eat breakfast or lunch during the week, so my only meal is dinner. This is never enough to fill me up and I end up snacking until late at night then lay my fat ass down and go to sleep. I work a desk job, so I am sitting down all day long and get very little exercise when I am at work. The last thing I want to do when I get home or on the weekends is spend hours at the gym, when it is so much easier sitting on the couch watching football. I know because of all this I have only myself to blame for my appearance and I am in a cycle of self-loathing, then acceptance then self-loathing again. My body is by no means as out of control as some others, but I definitely have a belly and love handles this is where I end up carrying all my excess weight. I have never thought I carried it well hence why I am so self-conscious about myself. I just once want to be noticed as an attractive man, instead of what I am.

Why do we place such a large emphases on beauty? The Tao teaches us to never judge, and says the only way we know beauty is because we have defined ugliness. Children are far crueler than adults. I know now I will not be teased for my appearance as I had in my youth. I feel confident in not being judged by others, but I still feel a sense of sadness knowing I will not be judged for my beauty. I know I won’t be judged for my non-beauty so I guess I will take what I can get. I have hit the point where my self-loathing of my appearance supersedes any positive feelings I have. I have reached the point where my worries over others judging me have turned inward where I am always judging myself. This inner judgment has been destructive on my overall self-esteem. I just want the day to come where I can purchase extra large clothing and not feel like a complete slob. Although I am between sizes I want to hang my head high when I purchase size 38 jeans. I want to see some commercials where my peeps are doing underwear commercials.

I think an aspect of the American Dream is to have a membership in the beautiful peoples club. I do not know many people who would willingly shun this exclusive membership. I am sure you wouldn’t find one single man or woman who would say “I really just wish I would get fatter to further distance my chances of ever getting laid.” I don’t need to worry about this though because my wife thinks I brought sexy back years ago and hasn’t left since.

“Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing.”
Edward Abbey

This quote has been on my mind a lot as of late. I have been repeating it over and over as a personal mantra for many days. I look at all the things I value most in my life and those are the things I try and fight for the hardest to stay the same. I try and realize if I am stirred to anger than that means I still care, because I am still feeling strong emotions. Right? I think if I ever get to the point where I no longer care, then I will just be whatever about it. If these things I once was very emotional over no longer affect me then what does that say about my feelings on the matter? This is an important guiding stick for me, and it has not failed me yet. I just wonder if the concept of love implying anger is correct, or is this something a rageaholic says to make himself feel better about his actions?

It seems to me the things in my life I care for the most will always stir me to anger if things are not going as planned or if there is a bump in the road. Inside I know I must really care about this if I am going to allow it to twist me up. I am usually a laid back Zen type of person who is just ho-hum about most things, but I get into protect mode when something crosses certain boundaries. I know I care about my family, theology, philosophy, friendships, mental illness, work and my writing because these are the things where most of my passion comes from. Are the feelings I have about this stuff misguided passion, or defensive anger? This is not blind rage anger it is something different. I get into panic mode because I want to fix whatever the problem is so my world stays the same. This comes through as anger but is always something much deeper, much more painful. Edward Abbey was not talking about interpersonal relationships when he said this. It was geared towards his passion over the west and the environment. I think even though this quote is not taken in direct context it can still be a guiding stick to your personal relationships and your dreams

Couples have vices they keep from their partners from time-to-time; some small and innocent, others major and destructive. They do this because the other one simply doesn’t understand the importance of this vice to the other one. Most men will hide the fact they like to watch porn and do the deed. For others it may be food, drugs, alcohol, or shopping. I am no different then these other people except my vice are energy drinks. I simply love them! The taste is phenomenal and I love the small pep they bring. These beverages are truly a gift from above. I applaud the makers of Redbull for introducing the world to the glorious possibilities energy drinks bring.  

The reason energy drinks are my shameful little secret is because my wife has a very stern stance on the beneficial and ritualistic nature of these drinks. I am not really sure why she has developed a disdain for these products.  She used to have no problems with me purchasing these items; I mean c’mon my drink of choice has always been vodka Redbulls. I do not understand her change of thought on this topic; I think it is from my moms endless speeches about how these drinks are bad for you (thanks mom.) I have now had to resort to getting these drinks anytime I venture out by myself, and quickly drink them before I get home. She knows I do this just like most woman know their husbands spank it to porn. She accepts that I will do this, and understands it is a necessary evil.

To a point I understand why she has made this stand. I am a creature of habit and routine. If my routine gets altered even a little bit I am overcome with stress and anxiety; causing me to become uber agitated. If I were to have an energy drink in the morning it wouldn’t be long until it becomes an everyday habit. I frankly do not see any issue with this, because it would be awesome to start my day off with a coffee and a few hours later savior a tasty treat. She is also under the impression these drinks are horrible for my health (thanks mom.) Here is another concept of this I disagree with. I understand I am on a boatload of meds, but these meds are far more destructive to my health and wellbeing than a daily energy drink.

I will try from time-to-time to slip an energy drink by her in the morning but I am always met with disapproval. I really wanted to try a five hour energy shot today to see what all the hype is about, but didn’t want to waste my time with the debate. I do not understand the appeal of porn, and I am emotionally scarred over masturbating. I do not hide food, because frankly could I get any worse. I stay as far away from shopping as possible. If it were up to me I would shop us into the poor house. There are certain things in a marriage you just concede on because a debate is not worth the hassle. I disagree with her but I respect her stance, which is why I hide drinking them in shame.